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Chinese Have Higher Stroke Risk Than Whites, Study Suggests

Update Date: Jul 15, 2013 04:00 PM EDT

Chinese people may have a higher risk of suffering stroke, according to a new study.

Researchers found evidence that suggests that Chinese people have a greater risk of stroke than white people, according to a study published in the journal Neurology.

"While stroke is the second most-common cause of death worldwide, in China it is the leading cause of death and adult disability," study author Dr. Chung-Fen Tsai, MD, with the University of Edinburgh in Scotland said in a news release.

"The global impact of stroke in the decades ahead is predicted to be greatest in middle income countries, including China. It is important to gain a better understanding of how stroke affects different populations as we try to reduce the burden of the disease worldwide," Tsai added.

For the study, researchers looked at studies from 1990 onward that included first strokes in Chinese people in China and Taiwan.  Researchers said the study involved data from 404,254 Chinese and included more than two million person-years and 3,935 strokes. The study also included 10 community-based studies among Caucasians including 1,885,067 people, more than 3.2 million person-years and 4,568 strokes.

After comparing the two groups, researchers found a slightly higher overall risk of stroke in Chinese people. Study results revealed that among Chinese people there were 2.5 to 584 strokes per 100,000 people aged 45 to 74 compared to 170 to 335 strokes per 100,000 Caucasian people the same age.

The study also found that Chinese people had a higher risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, a type of stroke due to bleeding into the brain from a ruptured blood vessel, compared to Caucasian people. Intracerebral hemorrhage comprised of 33 percent of all strokes among Chinese participants compared to 12 percent of all strokes in Caucasian participants.

Researchers said Chinese people on average suffered stroke earlier than Caucasians.  The study found that the average age of stroke onset for Chinese people was between 66 and 70 years old, compared to 72 to 76 years for Caucasians.

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